20 Great Documentaries That Will Change Your Worldview

By Shane Fraser

Manufacturing Dissent

Unlike other artforms, documentaries don’t hide their agendas. The documentarian begins with a conviction, and the purpose of the film is to convince the viewer of the truth of said conviction, regardless of its actual veracity. Not all documentarians are like this. Some, who believe in the unbiased pursuit of truth, produce honest but boringly even-handed films, but this technique is not as effective as fearmongering, despite being the superior product.

Luckily for entertainment-junkies, documentaries are under no obligation to be impartial in an age of cultural tribalism. And like the Nazi propaganda films of Leni Riefenstahl, they exist foremost as affirmers of already-held beliefs, or converters of the directors’ beliefs.

We hope, in making this list of potential view-changing documentaries, we’ve compiled a solid mix of films for the curious mind. The list is not propaganda, not meant to push a certain ideology despite whatever conclusions you may draw, but simply to present ideas from a large spectrum of society. Still, take each film, on its own, with incredulity; they are made to change your mind. If you know this going in, you may be less likely to dogmatize your opinions. There are always two sides.

20. Hearts and Minds

Hearts and Minds

The entity that is the Vietnam War is a continuous deluge of fact, speculation, conspiracy and hearsay, and this makes for a tantalizing story of all the gears that grinded to create the same disappointing outcome.

Hearts and Minds is this story. Released in 1974, just after the U.S. left Vietnam, the documentary presents interviews with people on all sides of the war effort, and created a vital framework of understanding for the shell-shocked citizens of the involved countries who sat without answers or resolution. The war lasted twenty years for some, and Hearts and Minds → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

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